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Newtown scholarship fund raises $900K

By Stephen Underwood
On February 6, 2013

  • This undated photo provided by the Gay family shows Josephine Gay, killed Dec. 14, when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown. AP

More than $900,000 has been raised or pledged for the UConn Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund from more than 5,100 donations, according to the UConn Foundation.
The Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund will offer financial aid to Sandy Hook students, and siblings or relatives of the deceased who decide to attend UConn in the future.

In addition to the donations already received, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), which represents some 43,000 teachers, has announced a $1 million dollar donation drive for Sandy Hook students, which eventually will be donated into UConn's scholarship fund.

Stephanie Reitz, university spokesperson, said the scholarship has experienced tremendous success.

"After the Newtown shooting there was a strong feeling of wanting to give back and Geno Auriemma was the first one to kick off the memorial with an $80,000 donation," Reitz said. "Since then, the community response has been enormous."

Reitz also thanked the Connecticut Education Associations for their offer to donate the money they collect into UConn's own scholarship fund.

"The Connecticut Education Association has pledged to donate the money they collect into UConn's own Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship. We certainly thank the CEA for their generosity in allowing more Sandy Hook students and those affected to be able to achieve their educational goals through the money raised."

UConn President Susan Herbst also expressed her gratitude.

"We are deeply moved by the CEA's support of the scholarship fund," Herbst said in a UConn Today press release. "So many people have been searching for ways to help in the wake of this horrible tragedy, and this effort speaks volumes about CEA's concern and commitment."

Reitz also addressed ways people can donate, which can be located on the UConn Foundation website.

"A lot of people are donating directly through our Sandy Hook website but there are many others who are sending money through text messages and also through the mail. So there are many ways to give and people are happy to be able to help out," Reitz said.

Reitz also mentioned how the scholarship reflects upon the universities mission statement and its commitment to public outreach and civility.

"The university feels strongly in transformative education, and that means helping out others in our communities," Reitz said. "After the Newtown tragedy everybody felt something needed to be done. Setting up the scholarship felt like the right thing to do, and with the help of Geno Auriemma, who kicked off the initial donation, the scholarship has only been increasing." 

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